Employee engagement: there is a groundswell of evidence that demonstrates there are clear business benefits in having an engaged workforce (Watson Wyatt1, McLeod2 et al).
Over the past 18 months, we have noticed a genuine desire by many at Senior Management level to ensure that the culture, management style and environment is right to allow engagement to happen (it can’t be forced – I’ll cover this in another blog).
However, many organisations that we have the privilege to work with don’t realise that they already have a large percentage of engaged employees in their organisation. In fact, research3 has shown that globally 76% of employees are either highly engaged or moderately engaged and in the UK the figures are 77% (12% highly and 65% moderately).
Before embarking on a major employee engagement initiative, an organisation should take stock of their current situation. It is likely to find that many employees are already engaged and in actuality it may not need to implement a detailed programme of change or employee engagement measures to enable further employees to become engaged or more highly engaged. It maybe that by looking into the ‘reasons’ why these employees are engaged, a step-change in levels of engagement could be achieved by looking to apply ‘best practice’ in other parts of the organisation.
A simple and effective way to gain deeper insight and understanding as to these ‘reasons’ is an employee engagement survey – by investigating at both organisational and local level an accurate picture of engagement can be built up and used as a baseline to measure increasing levels of employee engagement over time.
Don’t rush into major employee engagement initiatives without first looking inward at your organisation – you will most likely be pleasantly surprised as to what you might find.
- “Watson Wyatt Identifies Steps to Keep Employees Engaged, Productive in a Downturn – March 2009,” Watson Wyatt press release (Toronto, Canada, March 31, 2009).
- David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, “Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement,” Department for Business Innovation & Skills, May, 2009, p. 37-39, http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/employee-engagement, accessed May 2009.
- Towers Perrin HR Services, “Winning Strategies for a Global Workforce,” Towers Perrin HR Services, February, 2006, p. 8, http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=HRS/USA/2006/200602/GWS.pdf, accessed February 2011.